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Surely you and him didn't with eyes downcast as before, fall out?”
but a face flushed to the very “We did, then, Robert,” she roots of the hair. said in low tones.
James M'Cormick smote his “ An' what for, now?” he fist on his knee. asked.
“ Divil such a one ever I “I was telling him he had saw!” he said. “I would do no call to leave you, Robert,” right to beat her.” the girl answered simply.
"Indeed, then, James," said Robert looked at her and Robert, " that's no
to laughed sadly. “That was a talk. It's too good she is. poor thing to dispute about, But listen, Mary, if you like Mary. Sure it's better for Johnny, why but you take you and for himself, and I him?" know it.”
“She's frightened for the “I'll marry no man that's journey, the crature,” said Mrs going to America." The girl's M.Cormick. “ Isn't that it fingers were locked together in now, Mary?” her lap, but there was defiance “ 'Tis not, then," said the in every line of her figure. . girl, and again there was
James M‘Cormick lifted his volume of repressed passion hands.
behind her words. “ I'm not “Listen to the talk of her. frightened for any journey, no I'll hold you now this is some more nor I would be for hardnotion she took up from that ships. But it's a hard thing ould crazy schoolmaster down for me to be answering quesby.”
tions this way,” she said, break" Indeed, then, and if I only ing off and rising. « An' I took what I learnt from Master maybe said more nor I ought, Boyle it's little harm I would and maybe I brought trouble learn," the girl retorted.
on myself. An' I'm sorry to let it be right or wrong, it's refuse anything to yourself, what I'll stand by. But I'm Robert, and to him you're thankful to yourself, Robert, speaking for, but I'll not marry for all you said this night. Johnny and him going away An' I wish Johnny well, wher- from his own place." ever he goes, and”—her voice She stood there for a motook a sudden thrill—“when ment, and Johnny rose also as you go to the train with him if to stop her going. Then she on his convoy, Robert, there'll moved towards the room and not be one there sorrier nor he caught her by the arm. myself, though I'm not with “Come out by a minute," he you—for there was never one whispered. “I want to ask Í liked as well as Johnny, nor you something." never will be."
“No, then,” she said aloud, A silence fell on the room and her voice shook with an as she ended, and then took eagerness that was half anger; up her work again and began “it was put on me to speak quietly carding at the wool, before them all, and now, let
you say before them all what- helping them? Listen, now, ever you're for saying." Robert, you and Johnny are
The lad hesitated for a mo that stubborn, neither of you ment, and it seemed as if the will ask the thing he wants. words fought against utterance. But if it wasn't for Annie, Then he spoke.
Robert, oh it's I would ask it? “ Would
take me in Listen, Robert, I have the emthis country?” he asked half- broidery learnt, and I can earn, articulately.
whiles. And I can mind old A sudden light of triumph John and Margaret, and shone in Mary's eyes; triumph Johnny and me could be in sounded in her voice.
the house with them-an' there “Where would you have to would be that lifted off Annie. bring me to?" she asked, with Do you think now, Robert, strange vibration in her accent would she say against it?”
as if she spoke not to him Robert caught the girl's outonly. But the lad's face fell. stretched hands
"I can't answer you that,” “ Mary," he said, “if you he said brokenly. The elder keep Johnny with us, you people sat in their chairs by needn't fear for Annie. An' the fire watching the two for myself it would be the best young figures standing
standing to- day I saw since Johnny was gether, midway, to the door. born. James, you know yourJames M‘Cormick’s counten- self the farm is near paid off
was full of bewildered and whatever it is, it goes to curiosity. But Robert sat, the son that works it. That turned on his seat, watching it may prosper with him and the girl with a kind of hope, Mary after I'm gone-if you that was like dread, in his eyes. say to the bargain.”
Mary looked at him now. “Let him have her, then,"
“Do you hear that, Robert?” said James M-Cormick, rising she said; "would you speak for up and closing hands with Johnny now?"
Robert. "An' a good girl he'll Silence seemed to strangle get, for all she has notions." the man, and tears came into Robert went over to the girl his eyes. He raised his hand where she had seated herself to his throat before he spoke. beside Johnny in the big settle
“Maybe you and him would —his arm round her now. He rue,” he said.
laid his hand on her shoulder Mary stepped over to his and laughed happily. side. “And do you think, “Faith, James, if it wasn't Robert, we might never rue if for them notions, it wouldn't
went out yonder, and be the day it is for me. There'll might never think long, and be no fear of Johnny with her the ones that reared us toiling and the land for himself.” and slaving here, and us not
THE TABLE ROUND.
“ WHO draws this sword from out this stone
Shall rule the realm from sea to sea,”. In lettered gold the legend shone
Well-wrought by Merlin's prophecy.
Brave lords and knights encircled stand
To wield the blade of magic might, But none of all the noble band
Could loose it from the marble white.
Then Arthur came with modest grace
And drew it forth-the king was found, Prophet of freedom to the race
And founder of the Table Round.
Long ages pass—the Table Round
Had other knights well known to fame; No single realm their sway could bound,
The world revered each honoured name.
Kit North, De Quincey, Lockhart, Moir,
Hogg, Stephens, Galt, and Hamilton, And Scott who led the minstrel choir,
Sat round the board with Alison.
An heirloom in the centre stood
With quaint device : “Who draws this quill From out this font of ebon-wood
Shall rule all hearts and realms at will."
Then rose each knight of noble name,
In loving gage gave jewelled ring; At their behest Sir Walter came
And took the quill—our Wizard King.
WHEN Hartley rode off the with
the obstinate horse homestead, the horse followed thoroughly awakened him, and its instinct and headed for its after five minutes' hard gallophome at Smeers' farm. Un- ing, which had almost taken checked by its rider, who sat the last bit of energy out of mute and listless in the saddle, the exhausted animal, he
broke into a triple, which it steadied up into a walk, and increased to canter as it began to put into form the recognised familiar landmarks, emotions that were inchoately and in half an hour was at the struggling within him. broken fence that served
"She believes it.
Sent mo gateway to the Smeer residence. away. Thinks I'm a murderer. The stoppage of the animal I'm running away, — Dick brought Hartley to his senses, Hartley running away !” he and he started violently as he muttered, as who lead recognised that he had been solitary lives commune with brought to the door of the themselves vocally. “Running cause of his life's tragedy. away, and I said I wouldn't. With a violent jerk at the He checked his horse. As the reins he pulled the surprised noise of his hoofs on the hard and unwilling beast back on ground ceased he heard another his track, and with a cut of his sound. A horse was coming heavy sjambok sent him career- rapidly out of the blackness ing madly over the veld, in behind. A thrill of something, what direction he neither less like fear than a desire to thought nor cared, so long as avoid men, passed through he felt active motion. Up till him, and he urged his horse then he had been in a half
Without knowing it, he dazed condition,-a state that on the main road that he had known on more than runs due east from Mafeking one occasion when his im- through Krugersdorp to Johanpulsiveness had landed him nesburg,—the same road that into an exchange of blows with Jameson had taken few some quarrelsome companion of months before. Away to the a spree, and his opponent had left, embouching upon the road, proved the more scientific per was the deserted mine known former. He had received the to fame as Queen's Battery, greatest knock-down blow of from behind whose white heaps his life, and the strangeness of of tailing sand the Krugersdorp the experience unfitted him for Burghers poured that deadly realising it. The encounter volley that made the raiders VOL. CLXXVIII.—NO. MLXXX.
pause, and led to the fatal rich herbage covered. He mistake that ended in disaster. turned his horse sharply toAt this very spot Jameson wards it, for the path he was turned off into the veld to the riding was water - worn and right, and Hartley did the rugged.
Next instant the same. The idea dominant was animal was shoulder - high in to ride a few yards into the the soft mud, and frantically grass and allow the following plunging to free itself from the horseman to pass along the heavy man whose arms road. But once on the easy choking its neck. going of the level veld, the Of all the perils that attend horse broke into its fast canter, the adventurous life of the which Hartley made no effort veld, there
that to check, for the motion was bring more acutely to a man pleasant and fitted his turbulent the impotency of effort than thoughts. He could still hear that of the morass. the trippling patter of the other other phase of stress and rider. Suddenly it ceased, and danger, action helps relief. gave place to the hollow thud Unexpected submergence in a of heavy hoofs on hard, grassy swollen river becomes but a ground. The rider had also trial of skill and strength to turned off the road.
the swimmer; the rider is mentary glance around supplied stirred to pit his brain and the Hartley had nerve
against the terrormounted a slight ridge, and stricken horse that dashes his figure must be standing out down dangerous de against the faint glow in the clivity; and the sudden attack western sky from the electric of savage
beast can be lamps on the mines at Krugers- triumphantly averted by alertdorp. He was being pursued. ness of hand and eye. But the Instinctively he jammed his victim of the encompassing heels against his horse, which
can make no manly broke into a tired, stumbling struggle with his fate, since canter.
striving but brings it nearer. He was skirting the long The unopposing sludge yields marsh known Prinsloo's only to wrap him closer in its Vlei,—the same that Jameson paralysing folds; the slimy found barring his attempt to dampness chills his virility, rectify the blunder that took and by freezing hope and him off the straight road. But effort, makes ready way for the raiders had a setting sun despair. to warn them of their danger; Hartley possessed in a large Hartley knew not that the degree the priceless gift of dead grassy level to his left quick resolve. The moment he
a treacherous impassable felt the fore-quarters of the bog, for in the pale glint of horse sinking, and heard the the stars it showed only its squidge of the mud, he realised inviting surface, and gave no his position and peril. He also sign of the six feet of ooze the knew the futility of violent